Singapore GE2020: Nomination Day to be more subdued affair amid Covid-19 restrictions

Nomination Day will be held on June 30. PHOTO: ST FILE

Nomination centres are typically a hive of activity at election time.

But the proceedings this year will be much more subdued, with entry into the centres restricted owing to Covid-19.

Nomination Day is on June 30 in this general election.

As in previous elections, candidates are required to submit their documents at these centres and be accompanied by their subscribers, who include a proposer, a seconder and between four to eight assentors.

From 10am, candidates can enter the schools which are being used as nomination centres.

They will first be directed into a holding area and, from 10.30am, they can enter the nomination place, typically the school hall, if they meet the requirement of having the relevant documents, like a political donation certificate. They must also be accompanied by their subscribers.

Between 11am and 12pm, candidates will have to file their nomination papers. They have up to 12.30pm to object to the nomination papers of other candidates contesting in the same constituency.

Supporters, who are typically allowed in the centres as well, will not be able to enter them in this election.

After 12.30pm, candidates will be allowed to make their thank-you speeches, which will be aired on TV and online. For candidates who are unwell, their authorised representative can make the speech on their behalf.

To reduce physical contact during nomination proceedings, the Elections Department has beefed up its digital services for candidates.

Before Nomination Day, candidates can pay their election deposit of $13,500 via e-payment, like PayNow, and get an electronic receipt, instead of making a trip to the Accountant-General's Department. They can also appoint election agents and apply for a political donation certificate online, as well as apply online for a minority community certificate for those running in group representation constituencies.

The ELD said yesterday it would process most of these forms by the next working day, except for applications for the minority community certificates which will be issued before Nomination Day, after applications for the certificates close two clear days before Nomination Day.

Candidates can also submit their photographs and names for printing on ballot papers through the online channel.

Those who want to do a draft of their nomination papers online can also do so, which will allow them to check the details of their proposers, seconders and assentors to ensure they are all listed in the updated Register of Electors.

To use these online services, they will have to log in using their SingPass accounts, for accountability and security, said the ELD.

It added that candidates who prefer to submit forms in hard copy can continue to do so, but they should download and print the forms from the ELD website instead of getting them in person at the ELD's premises.

These and other changes to election processes for GE2020 are published in the Candidate Handbook, Guide for Polling Agents and Guide for Counting Agents. They are available on the ELD website.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 25, 2020, with the headline Nomination Day to be more subdued affair amid restrictions. Subscribe